How to Conduct a Harassment Investigation in Higher Education: A Required, Essential & Critical Step in Resolving a Complaint and Minimizing Liability (EDU762P)

Presented By: Dr. Susan Strauss , Ed.D.
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Event Details
  • Pre-recorded Webinar
  • 120 minutes
  • Tue, July 12, 2016
Event Description

The Essential Steps to Conducting a Compliant Harassment Investigation in Higher Education

An investigation is essential in determining the validity to a complaint of sexual, including sexual assault, and other protected class harassment, bullying, theft, assault, and other misconduct. Conducting a fair and impartial investigation diminishes the university’s liability, and can decrease further misconduct by preventing it from becoming pervasive. The investigation may serve to minimize damages paid to the complainant.

In doing so, the institution demonstrates its commitment to the prevention and intervention of the misconduct resulting in less harassment, discrimination and other forms on misconduct on campus. By conducting its own investigation, the institution may avoid an investigation by another agency such as the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. An investigation is required to help ensure a safe and healthy campus for students, staff, and faculty. The Violence Against Women Act, which is included in the Clery Act, requires all higher education institutions to conduct yearly training on how to conduct investigations. Does your institution do so?

Anyone who conducts an investigation must be trained in how to do so.  Merely having the experience of conducting investigations without having been taught the art and science of the process is not enough.  The institution demonstrates its commitment to prevention of harassment to the Court or outside agency when it can demonstrate that its investigators have been trained.

Join Dr. Susan Strauss RN Ed.D in this session, to identify the need and steps of an internal investigation in incidents of harassment in higher education. You’ll know how to carry out a compliant investigation and avoid major risk areas in harassment investigations.

Learning Objectives:

  • How to determine if an investigation is necessary.
  • Review and understand the steps of an investigation.
  • Explore the intricacies of interviewing the accuser, accused and witnesses.
  • Differentiate between a formal and informal investigative procedure.
  • Identify the pertinent laws that must be applied to an investigation such as Civil Rights Laws, the Clery Act, and others.
  • When to consider academic freedom concerns.
  • Decide whether an investigation of a sexual assault, a form of sexual harassment, needs to be conducted.
  • Compare and contrast bullying and protected class harassment
  • Determine credibility and reach a conclusion following an investigation
  • Write a formal report outlining the investigation

Additional Tools & Resources:

  • Get sample interview questions  to ask  the accuser, the accused, and the witnesses
  • Links to resources
  • Dos and don’ts of conducting an investigation
  • List of criteria to determine credibility of those interviewed
  • How to draw conclusions following the investigation

Who Should Attend

  • Title IX Coordinators
  • Section 504 Coordinators
  • Human Resource Professionals
  • Deans
  • Security force
  • Anyone else tasked with conducting investigations

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About Our Speaker(s)

Dr. Susan Strauss Ed.D.
Susan Strauss Ed.D. is an international speaker, trainer, consultant and recognized expert on harassment. She also conducts harassment and workplace bullying investigations and functions as a consultant to attorneys as well as an expert witness in harassment lawsuits. Her clients are from education, business, healthcar... More info


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